EF Education-Nippo’s Neilson Powless won the Clasica Cicliste San Sebastian after emerging victorious from a three-rider sprint finish.
Powless was the winner as he, Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) and Mikel Honore (Deceuninck-Quickstep) were part of a breakaway that also included Lorenzo Rota (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) on the Erlaitz descent 35km from the race’s end.
Rota fell back when there was a crash towards the finale - the race took place in slippery, wet and rainy conditions - but the remaining trio were able to avoid trouble and pre-race favourite Julian Alaphilippe, Honore’s teammate, was too far behind to get support for his bid for the win.
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The lead four had a minute’s advantage over the rest of the riders and they were strong enough to hold off any attempted challenge. Powless then took the win against his two remaining rivals.
“I can’t even put into words how much this means to me,” said Powell afterwards.
“Our director Juan Manuel [Garate] was so excited for us to come to this race. We didn’t have the favourite for the race, so we tried to ride the race smart. In the end, we played our cards perfectly. I’m so happy.
“My first professional victory. I’m just so happy to have taken it here in San Sebastian with a director in the car who’s a local. Every time I’ve raced through the Basque Country it’s been incredible with the fans, so I’m super-happy to win in front of such enthusiastic crowds.”
Clasica Cicliste San Sebastian results
1. Neilson Powless - EF Education-Nippo - 5:34:31
2. Matej Mohoric - Bahrain Victorious
3. Mikkel Honoré - Deceuninck-QuickStep
4. Lorenzo Rota - Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux - 0:00:30
5. Alessandro Covi - UAE Team Emirates - 0:01:04
6. Julian Alaphilippe - Deceuninck-QuickStep
7. Odd Christian Eiking - Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8. Jonas Vingegaard - Jumbo-Visma
9. Gianni Moscon - Ineos Grenadiers
10. Bauke Mollema - Trek-Segafredo
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